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Old 10-06-2004, 07:42 AM   #1
rgbrock1
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SuSE Linux, Linux in general and sound cards...


Hi all,

Call me a fustrated Linux novice for now but perhaps after reading this you'll understand why.

In the past I have tried using several "flavors" of Linux but have decided to stick with SuSE
simply because I like it the best. Currently, I have SuSE 9.1 Pro installed which, of course, includes kernel version 6.21.x

Anyway. In my Dell PC where SuSE is installed I have a SB Live! 5.1 Value sound card (a fraudulent version of the true SB Live! inflicted on the user of the system by good ol' Dell).
for the life of me I cannot get this sound card to work under SuSE 9.1 or any other Linux.
Yes, I suppose I could go buy a decent card but, that's part of the dilemna.

After reading many posts by people having problems getting their sound cards to function correctly under Linux, I've come to the conclusion, perhaps incorrectly, that sound card functionality and Linux is a tricky proposition at best. Which I cannot understand. I mean, how difficult is it to write a device driver for a sound card?

So, my question is this: are there ANY sound cards out there which unequivocally work with Linux, specifically with SuSE? Any sound cards to recommend without breaking the bank?!!!!

Any suggestions would be highly welcome and appreciated as I am getting to the point now where getting this to work is beyond fustrating now.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Richard Brock
 
Old 10-06-2004, 09:05 AM   #2
Peacedog
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Please post the output of /sbin/lspci -v, so we can see the chipset of the card. Have you had a look at alsa?

http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc...dor=All#matrix

good luck.
 
Old 10-06-2004, 09:52 AM   #3
ceg4048
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Hi Richard,
As Morpheus once said to Neo "I know exactly what you mean". I am also experiencing the growing pains transitioning from WinXP. But mainstream sound cards should not be one of those pains. I run SUSE 9.1 Personal on two machines, an ATHLON 1700+ with SB OEM onboard PCI128 and the other a P4 HT with an Audigy2 Platinum. During installation on each machine the sound cards were immediately recognized and were configurable. SUSe even recognized the Firewire port from the Audigy2 (which floored me) so I can attest that sound works. I guess I should mention that I run KDE as opposed to GNOME but that shouldn't make a difference.

While I'm sure that the guru's out there could probably whip up a command line miracle or two and sort things out in millisecond, command line is still the Romulan Neutral Zone for me so I still fumble about in GUI, only resorting to "terminal" when my life depends on it. The (relatively) cool thing about SUSE 9.1 is that the YAST Control Center allow's you to configure and even add/detect the card without having to resort to command line runic witchcraft. The button labels are $ĐUally intuitive.

Maybe you have already tried all this but fire up YAST, in the left pane I click on "Hardware", and in the right pane near the bottom you should see a "Sound" icon. Click there and you'll get another window with buttons to add a card, configure advanced options like joystick setup, adjust the volumes or to delete. Could it be that your card is already running but that the volume is set too low? You didn't really say exactly what the symptoms were or what you have tried so far so I'm just shooting in the dark. I did notice that both YAST and KDE each have a volume mixer and that initially I had to play with the buttons to get any perceptible sound.

There appears also to be the issue of the driver packages. Could it be that you did not install them (I know it's a dumB question but I take nothing for granted with this OS)? Both of my machines use the ALSA drivers which loaded automatically during install (I had to select the multimedia package) but maybe something went wrong in your case and these drivers weren't loaded.

Then we have to figure out what kind of sound you can't hear. Those goofy *.ogg files should play right off the bat because they are open source and all but MP3's are trickier due to licensing issues. Getting CD and DVD sound also apparently require a Master's degree (in science) but the instructions and RPM files are all out there.

In any case I must say that neither FedoraCore2, Mandrake 10 nor SUSE had any trouble recognizing either of these two sound devices. The Audigy2 Platinum would probably be a bank breaker but their plain vanilla version ought to be reasonably priced. The thing is that your SBlive should work, no question, so there is something missing your setup. Naturally, none of the fancy Soundblaster software are available but you should be able to get basic stereo and surround working.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
 
Old 10-06-2004, 10:08 AM   #4
rgbrock1
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CEG4048 - Thanks much for your dissertation (!!) on sound cards and Linux.
Basically, I get no sound whatsoever from my speakers. I've tried playing with everything I can think of, to no avail. (Yes, I've also mucked around with YaST and removed the sound card and re-added it, also to no avail.)
So, perhaps it's off to get some other sound card and try that. Fingers crossed.
Thanks again: it's appreciated.
 
Old 10-06-2004, 11:02 AM   #5
ceg4048
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OK Richard, as you wish. Before you spend money though I would try PEACEDOG's suggestion and have him look at your configuration (I told you the gurus would have a command line magic spell and he does! Incredible).

Check this out just for learning experience. Open Konsole or terminal of choice, and lets say your terminal prompt, when opened shows something like this:

linux:/home/richard #

Type PEACEDOG's command but in addition I found this cool trick where you can send the output of the command directly to a file. The expression is "> filename"

If you were to issue his command "/sbin/lspci -v" you'd get a whole string of (apparently) useful data scrolling by. But if you add "> filename.txt" you generate a txt file in the same directory with the same data. On the terminal the command would look something like this:

linux:/home/richard # /sbin/lspci -v > mumbojumbo.txt

This creates a text file called mumbojumbo.txt in your /home/richard directory. I close terminal immediately to avoid a migrane and I fire up the GUI file manager. After navigating to /home/richard/ in the file manager clicking on this text file I can see the same useful data. It looks like configuration and identification data about vga card, usb controllers, network card, everything on or connected to the motherboard. The sound card data is there as well. In my case it shows this:

0000:00:0e.0 Multimedia audio controller: Ensoniq 5880 AudioPCI (rev 02)
Subsystem: Ensoniq Creative Sound Blaster AudioPCI128
Flags: bus master, slow devsel, latency 32, IRQ 5
I/O ports at ec00
Capabilities: [dc] Power Management version 1

It would be interesting to see what your machine shows. It only takes a second and maybe PEACEDOG can figure out additional spells! Cool (I never even knew I had a Ensoniq!). Don't spend more money yet!

Cheers,
 
Old 10-06-2004, 12:33 PM   #6
rgbrock1
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Peacedog and CEG4048: I will post my sound card config later as I am at work and don't have access to my PC at home. Normally I do have access when I boot to Linux, via ssh, but my wife decided to reboot this morning to,
gulp, Windblows XP.
Thanks for all your help: I appreciate it.
 
Old 10-06-2004, 01:29 PM   #7
J.W.
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Several thoughts in addition to the excellent comments already posted:

1. The lack of sound may simply be due to your volume settings being muted. Run alsaconf and alsamixer, and make sure the volume settings are turned up. Use the up/down arrow keys to adjust the volume, and the left/right arrow keys to move through the various volume settings.

2. Also check the "obvious" department - are your speakers plugged in and turned on, is the cable plugged into the correct jack on your sound card, are the speaker volume knobs turned up, is the volume control slider bar on your player (XMMS, etc turned up, etc. (What I mean by this last point is that the various sound players have their own volume controls)

3. If you've got both onboard sound and a separate sound card, it's probably best to disable the onboard sound in your BIOS. Not doing that can sometimes lead to conflicts.

Good luck with it -- J.W.
 
Old 10-06-2004, 01:33 PM   #8
rgbrock1
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J.W.

Iwill indeed check the volume settings. Seems kind of obvious but not something I looked at!

Yes, the speakers are correctly connected and the volume has been turned waaay up.

I'm not sure if I have both a sound card and on board sound but that's something else I should check.

Thanks for the suggestions: I appreciate it.
 
Old 10-06-2004, 05:14 PM   #9
rgbrock1
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Peace Dog,

Here is the output of the /sbin/lspci -v command. I've only included the info pertinent to my sound card:

0000:02:08.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs [SB Live! Value] EMU10k
1X
Subsystem: Creative Labs: Unknown device 1003
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 11
I/O ports at dc40
Capabilities: <available only to root>

0000:02:08.1 Input device controller: Creative Labs [SB Live! Value] Input devi
ce controller
Subsystem: Creative Labs: Unknown device 1003
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64
I/O ports at dc68
Capabilities: <available only to root>

Thanks
 
Old 10-06-2004, 06:00 PM   #10
Peacedog
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This may help you get things going along with J.W.'s suggestions from post # 7.

http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc...module=emu10k1

Just for the record, there is no magic here, nor am I a guru, it's simply a title. I am just another user, trying to help others, and learn as I go. Armed with the link, and the earlier suggestions, hopefully we'll get you going.
good luck.
 
  


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